A Few More Links/What I’m Reading

by Jeff Abbott on August 14, 2009

Here are some more reviews/interviews with me re TRUST ME.
At Fresh Fiction, I write (tongue in cheek) about the five things no one tells us you before your book comes out.

Bookloons writes a review and does an interview with me.
Sandra Ruttan of the Examiner also does an interview and puts TRUST ME to her famous 39 Pages test — is a book worth reading after the first 39 pages? Happily, TRUST ME passes.
Thanks all!
With the new book turned in (notice how I subtly work that in), I’ve had a chance to catch up on some reading, clean my office (sort of), and watch some TV. 
What I’ve Read:
Judas Kiss by JT Ellison. This is the third in her series about Nashville homicide detective Taylor Jackson. Investigating the suburban murder of a perfect housewife becomes much more as Taylor faces a highly dangerous enemy who decides to destroy her career. I read this in two sittings; the pacing is superb, the forensic detail wonderful, the characters likable yet flawed, and the descriptions of Nashville are spot-on. And apparently a character in the story is sort of named after me, even though JT didn’t know me then, she’d just read Panic and liked it.
And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander. I know Tasha slightly, and I wasn’t sure that a book about an aristocratic Victorian widow would be my, pardon the pun, cup of tea. But this is an engaging and smart read, perfect when you’re in the mood for well-crafted historical suspense. Lady Emily Ashley is very much a woman of her times; she is smart and strong-willed, but it would be unrealistic for her to entirely buck society’s iron grip of convention. This is a failure in a certain amount of historical fiction–the author simply sticks a 21st century sensibility into a historical character that jars. Emily is bookish, and uninterested in marriage, but agrees to marry Lord Philip Ashley to escape her completely abominable mother. She feels nothing for Philip, for her it’s a marriage of convenience. When Philip dies six months into the marriage, Emily gradually begins to discover that her husband was an extraordinary man, entirely deserving of her love and who was madly in love with her, and that he may have been murdered. Emily seeks out the truth about Philip’s death and in doing so discovers truths about her own heart. Another terrific read, best when you are in the mood for a more leisurely paced book.
Nine Princes in Amber; The Guns of Avalon; Sign of the Unicorn; The Hand of Oberon; The Courts of Chaos, all by Roger Zelazny. I sometimes want to read something entirely different from my usual diet of suspense and nonfiction, and the Amber fantasy novels were recommended by a friend. These are not medieval-style quest novels; rather they focus on familial and political intrigue. Amber is the center of the universe, the “one true world”, and all other worlds (including the Earth we know and love) are merely dim reflections of its existence and glory. Amber is ruled by a dysfunctional family, with a dozen scheming siblings all vying for its empty throne. The royals of Amber can easily move through “Shadow” (all other worlds and dimensions, including ours) by mastering an ancient labyrinth called the Pattern. But now, someone is seeking to destroy Amber, and over the first five novels of the series, Corwin, the cleverest and most ambitious of the family, must discover who wants to destroy Amber; and therefore destroy the universe.
These are books full of big ideas but are still fast reads. Many scenes are set in the Earth we know, or Earths that might have been  (including Avalon, an Earth reminiscent of an Arthurian legend). The focus is on the constant scheming and betrayals of the various siblings, painted on a vast canvas. Corwin is a smart and self-deprecating hero, a sort of fantasy Ulysses as he moves through a thousand worlds seeking the truth about the conspiracy and unraveling a series of crimes–including kidnapping and murder. There are five more books in the series, and I’ll look forward to reading them.

    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    Ieva M August 19, 2009 at 3:24 am

    Your comment about having a villain with the same name as your friend (or other way around) cracked me up.
    I remember when I was dating a guy I really liked (I think it was our fourth or fifth date) I proudly took him to the premiere of my stage play.
    It didn’t take long for me to realize that:
    1. my date plays guitar, and defines himself as a guitar player,
    2. the nastiest, meanest character in the play is a guitar player and defines himself as such,
    3. the play is littered with mean remarks about this guitar-playing guy *and* with horribly biased remarks about guitar players in general, *especially* about how horrible boyfriends they are.
    I was dying in there.
    He married me in a year.

    robena grant September 5, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Just read the First 39 critique and am thrilled. I can read this. Heh.

    I’m such a scaredy-cat. I shy away from anything too dark and scary because of an over-active imagination that doesn’t shut down when I sleep. I was intrigued with your book when it was mentioned on Nathan’s blog a few months back, but the cover scared me off. Then this week I picked up a copy of The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy, because I’d never read it when it came out in the eighties. Sheesh. If I can survive that, I can survive anything.

    Okay, so today I go to B&N and get a copy of Trust Me. I’ll keep you posted.

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